Worker Injured After Being Impaled By Rebar
Getting impaled by construction materials is something you might see in a horror movie, but it’s something that recently happened on a New Jersey job site. Fortunately, the worker is alive but in critical condition. The incident happened on the afternoon of December 10 in Paterson.
The incident occurred at the Armory construction site, located at 461 Market Street. A worker fell through a shaft from the eighth floor to the seventh floor of a 75-foot midrise building. He was impaled by a 1-inch rebar through his left hip and another rebar through the center of his chest area.
The Paterson Fire Department responded to the scene and had a hard time accessing the worker but were able to eventually reach him through a second rescue team, which had to bring the Jaws of Life, metal saws, harnesses, ropes, and medical equipment up to the seventh floor.
The rescue team took just a few seconds to cut the rebar and used ladders to lower the patient. He was awake and alert after the rescue, which took 40 minutes.
The worker, a 50-year-old man, was taken to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center. He is currently in critical but stable condition. The incident is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Construction Site Impalement Hazards
Most impalement incidents involve rebar. Some common ways in which rebar can impale a worker is through:
- Unprotected rebar dowels
- Reliance on mushroom caps
- Improper wooden trough installment
- Inadequate precautions when working over dowel covers
Workers can prevent these hazards through the use of:
- Steel-reinforced rebar caps
- Bending rebar
- Wooden troughs
Keep in mind that rebar is not the only impalement hazard on construction sites. Other types of impalement hazards include protruding pipes, bolts, cables, and reinforcing wire.
There are two main OSHA standards in place to protect workers:
- All protruding reinforcing steel shall be guarded to eliminate the hazard of impalement in the event of a fall.
- During the course of construction, lumber with protruding nails and all other debris must be kept cleared from work areas.
Because impalement is a potentially deadly situation, it’s important that employers train crew on safety guidelines that pertain to working with rebar so that they can prevent impalement hazards. Fall protection can be helpful. When employees are working at any height above exposed rebar, they should be wearing appropriate fall protection equipment. Employers should also limit access to work areas that involve formwork, protruding rebar, and rebar cages.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The man in this case is very lucky to be alive. Construction accidents often end badly, especially when a worker is injured by tools or machinery.
If you have been involved in a construction accident, seek legal help from a Morristown construction accident injury attorney from The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff. We’ll help you obtain compensation for all the damages involved. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call (973) 455-1567.